Government Monday update confirms Premier League can return to playing in June
It is now 63 days since we last saw Premier League football, Leicester hammering Aston Villa 4-0 on Monday 9 March 2020.
Since then, we have seen an ongoing series of meetings and announcements as the Premier League continues to look at the potential of when and how the remaining games of the 2019/20 season can be played out.
The latest Premier League club meeting by video conferencing is set to take place today, with the government update having been delivered on Monday lunchtime.
A 50 page document published, following the shambolic nonsense we saw on Sunday night in the pre-recorded Boris Johnson address to the nation.
So ‘Step One’ starts on Wednesday when people will be allowed to take part in the likes of tennis and golf, with people from the same household, or one from another household, if social distancing etc, I think I have that right…!
Where the Premier League is concerned, it is ‘Step Two’ which is targeted for 1 June, when nurseries and primary schools will hopefully begin a phased return.
Also in that same phase, some businesses will be able to re-open and sporting events will be able to take place behind closed doors, such as Premier League football.
So now they actually have got the provisional green light, it is now down to the Premier League to agree on a cohesive plan to finish the 2019/20 season starting sometime in June, if circumstances allow.
The Bundeliga is scheduled to kick off again on Saturday, so hopefully the Premier League will learn valuable lessons and guidance from what happens in Germany.
Both Spain and Italy are also hoping to be able to have football back in the near future, all behind closed doors of course for the foreseeable.
The end of April saw the French government force the end of the Ligue 1 (and Ligue 2) season prematurely and now they are having to face the consequences. Massive financial implications and impending legal challenges from certain clubs, those unhappy with the use of average points per game played to produce final league tables that dictated champions, European qualification, promotion and relegation.
The UK government have consistently said they are keen to see the Premier League restart and finish this season off.
At last Tuesday’s public virus briefing, the Foreign Secretary talked up the idea of Premier League football resuming ASAP, with the usual caveats of when medical advice etc allows. With clubs probably needing their players back in training for up to a month, the previously reported 12 June hoped for restart date would need squads returning to training ASAP.
Dominic Raab – Tuesday 5 May 2020:
“I think it would lift the spirits of the nation.
“I think people would like to see us get back, not just to work and get to a stage where children can safely return to school, but also enjoy some of those pastimes – sporting in particular.
“I know that the Government has had constructive meetings with sports bodies to plan for athletes to resume training when it’s safe to do so.
“I can tell you that the Culture Secretary has also been working on a plan to get sports played behind closed doors when we move to the second phase, that is something I can tell you we’re looking at.
“Whether it’s a combination of test, tracking, tracing and other social distancing measures within what’s possible within a sporting environment, we want to see whether behind closed doors, what the options are for doing that.
“Of course, the key point though is, we can only do it when the medical advice and scientific advice is that it can be done safely and sustainably, but certainly that is something under active consideration.”
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